Season 1, Episode 8, “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too”

Episode 8, “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too” uncovers deeper information about each character on the show, but mainly Adam.  Though he is undoubtedly very weird (hence the episode’s title, I suppose), Adam becomes more of a three-dimensional character and starts to seem like a pretty nice guy. We also begin to see a bit of Marnie’s wilder side and the frustrations of businessmen living in Williamsburg. Prepare yourself, because shit gets real.

Adam talking to Marnie about her break up, uncovering his surprisingly empathetic side.

The very beginning of the episode shows Adam and Hannah lounging in bed and acting very couple-y, much to Marnie’s frustration. When all three are sitting at the kitchen table, Marnie announces how she upset and “dealing with the deeply painful fact that [she is] probably not going to end up” with Charlie. While Hannah is the first to point out how Marnie never wanted to end up with him in the first place, Adam chastises her, saying, “Hannah, don’t minimize. Shit’s really hard…When I broke up with my girlfriend from college…so sad. I lost 30 pounds and I couldn’t move or talk or get my dick hard. But it also made me go, “who am I and what do I want?” It was like boom, I know who I am. I wanted to switch majors and buy a circular saw and I promised myself that I’d follow my gut, no matter what. And I do what makes me feel good.” So apparently Adam does have feelings after all, despite the fact that he previously treated Hannah so horribly. But now it seems that he is emotional and he gets it; relationships can be hard.

Hannah accompanies Adam to his play rehearsal. It is an avant-garde two-man show, also featuring monologues performed by Adam. In one scene while Adam and his fellow actor are rowing a canoe down a river, his friend changes his lines in an attempt to be more comical (though he is painfully not). Adam gets frustrated with him for trying to sell out and passive-aggressively states, “Gavin there is a lot of complex stuff being expressed in what you wrote, a lot of pathos. Give people a chance to process that. Don’t be afraid that if they’re not laughing [then] they’re not feeling. Look, you owe it to yourself to try stripping that thing down.” His friend thinks about it for a few seconds, and calls him a hero and thanks him for “keeping him honest.” Geez, Adam is a deep thinker and quite an artist in his own right. Who knew?!

But, the immature Adam we know so well makes a return when he decides to quit the play, simply because he is frustrated with the other actor (who happened to invest $2,000 in the project, while Adam contributed nothing). Hannah seems a little taken aback and scurries off to follow Adam after he stormed out. While they are walking home, they are almost hit by a car. Adam goes ballistic and hits the hood of the car repeatedly. Hannah is even more worried and confused.

Meanwhile Marnie bonds with Jessa over Hannah’s flaky tendencies, and a whole other plot line unravels. Jessa tries to make Marnie feel better, as she has been moping around the apartment. Marnie admits that she doesn’t like being so uptight  and “sometimes being inside my own head makes [her] want to cry,” so Jessa suggests that she “get out of there for a bit.”

The two go out for drinks, where they meet a new businessman in town, who invites them over to his apartment to share some wine. Marnie is enthralled and drags Jessa along, who looks bored to tears and is outright rude to the man (who we learn is a venture-capitalist by the name of Thomas-John).

Marnie tapping into her more “free” side, with Thomas-John creeping behind them and trying to get in on the action.

When they first arrive, he seems to be just a very odd, lonely guy…but then he gets really creepy. Marnie and Jessa lay down on his carpet to listen to the music he is deejaying (Thomas-John has a hobby of creating bizarre mash-ups) and he lies next to them, beginning to touch them a bit inappropriately. Jessa quickly sits up and states this is their cue to leave, to which Marnie says no and begins kissing her, in an attempt to break out from her uptight ways. Thomas-John can’t believe this is happening to him and keeps trying to get in on the action, but they keep swatting him away. Eventually he tries to awkwardly touch Marnie’s breast, which startles her and causes her to spill her glass of red wine on the carpet. Then Thomas-John goes absolutely ballistic and launches into a rant about how they are entitled and he is basically unhappy with the world. It’s too good not to include, so here is a transcript of his angry speech in response to the spilled wine:

“Are you fucking serious? It’s a $10,000 rug. It’s a very fucking expensive rug. If you’re gonna spill on it you better look more sorry than that. You know what if you’re “very” sorry, then you better be planning to make this a very special night for all of us. Not just you and fucking “Missy Maloo,” all of us. And not just me watching you girls go at it for a bit and getting a little bit turned on. I want balls deep in something, I don’t even fucking care what it is. No more excluding me “Mary Poppins,” its not fair. I want to be part of the group…[And]do you even really know what its like to work hard? I’ve been under a lot of pressure, my whole life, to succeed. Daddy didn’t buy me this rug or this apt or this nose.  That’s not your nose, there’s no way that’s your fucking nose. There’s no cartilage in the world that exquisite. So it kind of ticks me off when I come to Williamsburg, after working hard all fucking day in the real world, and I see all these all these stupid little daddy’s girls with fucking bowler hats, what are you doing in a fucking bowler hat? It’s stupid. And then you come over and you flirt and flirt and flirt and kiss and kiss and listen to my music tunes and drink my beautiful wine and spill all over my gorgeous rug and laugh about it.”

Although some of his complaints about entitled daddy’s girls are valid (which is basically the premise of the entire show), the man had clearly lost it so the two girls made a beeline for the door.

Hannah, happy to see Adam’s return to maturity.

Finishing up the episode, Adam wakes Hannah up in the middle of the night and makes her follow him to the corner where they were almost hit by the car. A building wall is covered with sheets of paper, with “sorry” spray-painted on each. Adam explains, “Sorry I yelled at the car. I wish I could apologize but I don’t know the driver, so I guess I’m going to have to just feel bad about it unless he drives by again…[And] I’m gonna do that fucking play. I’m gonna do it so you can watch it.” Hannah seems proud of Adam’s 180 degree-turn back towards maturity, and kisses him.

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Season 1, Episode 7, “Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. the Crackcident”

Shoshanna is by far the best character on “Girls,” and if you don’t agree, you sure will after watching this episode. Zosia Mamet’s portrayal of hilariously innocent Shosh is spot on. Though she is not the star of this week’s installment, she undoubtedly shines brighter than ever, securing Shoshanna’s placement within the series as a necessary and more flushed out character.

Shoshanna’s plot line in this episode is the most funny and interesting, but other also developing with the ladies. All of the girls attend a party in Bushwick, which turns out to be quite a rager.

Marnie picking a fight with Charlie and his new girlfriend.

As soon as Marnie hears that Charlie’s band is playing, she rushes off to say an “obligatory” hello. Once his band finishes their set, she greets him and acts extremely patronizing during their conversation. When Marnie realizes things aren’t going the way she wanted, she tells Charlie that “all [she] ever wanted for [him] was to find satisfaction outside of [their] relationship.” You can see Charlie reacting to her statement emotionally and angrily through his expressions, though he remains silent. But he breaks into a smile when his new girlfriend comes running over and jumps into his arms. Marnie then tries to pick a fight with him over the fact that he has moved on so quickly, even trying to drag the new girlfriend into it, angrily asking her, “You’ve never heard of me?” The girl is obviously innocently happy-go-lucky and genuinely asks her, “No, should I have? Are you one of those Real Housewives?” Marnie screams at both of them and storms off, into the party’s cloak of anonymity. The interesting thing about their encounter is the obvious contrast between overly serious, calculating and boring Marnie, and how genuine and happy the new girl seems to be. I think Charlie deserves to be happy too, and Marnie shouldn’t be trying to drag him down to her miserable level. During the rest of the episode, Marnie is shown complaining about this to anyone who will listen (or happens to be passed out and she thinks is listening).

Hannah’s plot line is a little deeper and more meaningful, though. She spots Adam at the party from afar, remarking to Shoshanna and Jessa, “I’ve never seen him outside of his house. I’ve never seen him with a shirt on…he hasn’t returned one of my texts in two weeks, and I was just coming to terms with that he was dead.” She seems jealous, upset and sad all at the same time. When Adam sees and calls out to her, she walks away, pretending she didn’t hear him. A little later, Hannah meets one of Adam’s lesbian friends, Tako, at the bar, who asks her if she met him through AA. Hannah is obviously stunned and doesn’t answer. The girl nervously fills the silence, saying, “I just blew his anonymous, oh shit…Don’t tell him…I just assumed that everyone that knew [Adam], like really knew him, knew that. It’s like the main defining thing about him, isn’t it? Well that and his love of books.” Hannah remains quiet and looks like she is going to cry.

My favorite part of the entire series so far, Shoshanna finds Jessa in a hallway chatting with Ray, and immediately starts rambling about kickboxing and how she smoked weed while in line for the bathroom. (Click on the photo to the left to see a clip of this scene! So hilarious.) Little did she know, but Shoshanna accidentally smoked crack. Her response to this realization is THE BEST. After Jessa breaks the news to her, Shoshanna says, “Oh my God, don’t tell my mom. Don’t even tell me. I’m matriculated at NYU and I just smoked crack, what is going to happen?” Jessa assures her that she will be her “crack spirit guide,” but then recognizes Jeff, the father of the family she babysits for, and runs off to damage control, passing along the “crack spirit guide” duties to poor Ray. Shoshanna pauses for a second after Jessa leaves, and then just turns around and bolts off. For the entire rest of the episode, all Ray does is chase her all over creation to make sure she “doesn’t jump off a roof or get fingered by a beat boxer,” as Jessa put it.

Jessa talking with Jeff at the party.

Jessa’s portion of the episode is not as interesting or funny. Basically she had responded to an unknown number in a text message, telling them to come to the “best party ever.” It turns out, it was Jeff who had sent her the initial message. She talks to him about why he came, tells him that he should tell the truth to his wife and stop pretending to have a job, and then winds up in the emergency room with him, because he got punched in the face. Now back to the more entertaining characters.

The episode wraps up fairly quickly after this part. Eventually Ray catches up to Shoshanna, who has not pants on anymore for some reason. Thinking the “man in plaid” was chasing her so he could rape her, she does some kickboxing moves on him and knocks Ray to the ground. Snapping back to reality and realizing what happened, she tried to help him by massaging him “in a nonsexual way” since she “took sports therapy last semester to meet jocks, but it was mostly Indian girls.” They seem to share a moment but Shoshanna is awkward and will look anywhere except at Ray while she massages his groin area.

At the same time, Adam drives Hannah home by allowing her to sit on the front of his bike. She yells at him to slow down and stop because she is getting scared, but he jams on the breaks and she flys onto the ground. They start to fight when Hannah asks why he never told her about AA, which is finally broken up when Marnie arrives in a cab to bring Hannah home.

Hannah finally happy for once, during the cab ride home.

Hannah lingers and Adam shouts at her, “Look kid, I don’t know what you f*cking want from me. Do you want me to be your boyfriend? You want me to be your f*cking boyfriend, is that it?” The next scene is the cab ride home, with an angry Marnie bitterly staring out the window on Hannah’s left and an exhausted and frustrated Adam stuffed into the backseat with his bike on her right. And for the first time ever, Hannah is happily smiling.

Season 1, Episode 5, “Hard Being Easy” – Part 2

This is the second of four posts, live-blogging a review of episode 5.

Though the rest of the show constantly switches between scenes featuring Hannah, Jessa or Marnie, I will focus on each plot line in a separate post. Continue reading the next two for an analysis of Jessa and Marnie in episode 5.

Hannah and her inappropriate boss, Rich.

I think Hannah is such a funny character because she takes herself too seriously, but is still self-conscious. The scene when Hannah confronts her new boss about sexual harassment in the workplace is a perfect example of this, and is just hilarious. Hannah approaches her boss, Rich, in his office and awkwardly tries to hit on him. He turns her down with surprise, so Hannah keeps pushing and places his hand on her breast. Much to her surprise and horror, Rich breaks out laughing and cannot stop. Hannah gets offended, and tries to turn the situation around by threatening to sue him for inappropriate advances in the workplace. Rich’s response is perfect and too funny; he exclaims, “Hannah, you barely have the wherewithal to get to work at 10AM, there’s no suing going on. There’s no suing app on your iPhone.” Even more offended, Hannah threatens to quit and before she leaves for good, she responds with an equally funny retort. “Someday I am going to write an essay about you and I am NOT going to change you name. And then you can sue me,” she says while walking out the door. Too perfect, and yay Hannah for somewhat standing up for yourself!

But then this small accomplishment towards having self-respect goes down the grain, when Hannah drops by Adam’s apartment. He is aloof and brushes her off, asking why she is even there. When she tries to touch him, he scoots out of the way and tells her not too. Poor Hannah is confused and taken aback—just earlier that day she had been telling Jessa about how Adam had changed and they were “basically together now.” Adam tells her the kissing and sex after she yelled at him didn’t mean anything, causing her to retreat to the bathroom, sit on the toilet and begin to cry.

Hannah begins to break down in Adam’s bathroom.

As a viewer, I just feel so bad for this pathetic girl; she can’t seem to grasp that Adam doesn’t care about her at all and is just using her, or has chosen to ignore it. But now reality has come crashing down upon her, and there is no hiding from it.

Hannah later emerges from the bathroom to find Adam masturbating in his room. She is rightfully grossed out and offended, yelling at him and turning to leave. But then Adam asks her if she wants to stay until he is done, which she agrees to do after taking a deep breath and turning around. Could she seriously get more pitiful? Guess we are back to old, pathetic Hannah again…until she realizes what she is doing and gets fed up. She tells Adam off, saying how disgusting it is that he is masturbating in front of her and that she wants $30 for cab money to go home. Adam weirdly seems to get off on seeing her act so dominantly. Hannah notices this, so when she looks in his wallet for the cab money and informs him he only has $100’s, she confidently adds that is taking one anyway. Then she makes Adam scream how sorry he is over and over again, which he likes this even more. This scene is bizarre, and a little uncomfortable to experience as a viewer, but it is good to see Hannah taking control of her situation with Adam for the first time. Hopefully she ditches him for good.

Season 1, Episode 5, “Hard Being Easy” – Part 1

This will be the first of four posts, live-blogging a review of episode 5.

Hannah reading her diary entry aloud.

This week’s show picks up right where episode 4 left off. The opening scene is one of the funniest parts of the whole episode, and is hilariously quote-worthy, thanks to Hannah’s tactlessness. Charlie makes Hannah read her diary entry aloud for Marnie to hear, which starts a whole new slew of arguments back and forth between the two lovers. Like usual, Hannah is incredibly self-absorbed during all this. In the midst of their fight, she makes it all about her and interjects, “Ok, I don’t want to split hairs here but it’s actually a journal not a notebook; it’s notes a notebook, like notes for a book…I’m just saying journal implies like a thirteen year old girl who rides horses and is obsessed with her mom, and that’s not what I’m doing.” Marnie responds with a terrifying glare and Charlie loses it, leaving the apartment. Now left alone with Marnie, Hannah callously pauses a few seconds and asks, “Hey Marnie, if you had read the essay and it wasn’t about you, do you think you would have liked it? Just as a piece of writing?” Marnie does not even dignify Hannah with a response and slams the door to her room.

Marnie’s death glare at Hannah’s self-absorbed comments.

The next morning, Marnie seems to have cooled down a bit and the two girls are having breakfast together. Marnie resolves to win Charlie back, which Hannah scoffs at and reminds her that she didn’t seem very happy when she was with him. Marnie quips back at Hannah that she just doesn’t understand because nobody has ever loved her that much. Realizing an awkward pause and that she may have been a little too harsh, Marnie quickly adds, “…as much as me, I love you. And your dad. And your boss.” Hannah thinks about it for a second, and responds, “I hate everyone that loves me.” Though this seems like an impervious response, it is telling of Hannah’s worldview and lack of self-esteem. She doesn’t even love herself, in fact she hates herself, and therefore hates anyone who feels differently—a possible explanation of why she repeatedly takes emotional abuse from Adam and never stands up for herself at work.

Season 1, Episode 4, “Hannah’s Diary”

Episode 4 is a disappointing tease; it finally seems like something good is going to happen for each character, but then things go horribly wrong.

Charlie singing excerpts from Hannah’s private diary.

Things seem to be improving between Marnie and her boyfriend, but then he sings a song based off things Hannah wrote in her diary about how they are wrong for each other and should break up. He storms off the stage at the song’s conclusion, clearly enraged. Marnie is shell shocked and throws her drink at Hannah, racing off to chase Charlie. Shoshanna reconnects with an old friend from camp and almost has sex with him, but when she mentions she is a virgin he bolts for the door. Jessa bonds with other nannies at the park, even trying to organize a union of child care specialists, only to realize while doing so, she lost the children.

And finally, we have Hannah. Adam “sexts” her a picture of himself, which seems like a step in the right direction towards normal couple behavior. Hannah is excited and makes a big deal out of it, even waking up Marnie and her boyfriend to joke about it. But then she receives another text from Adam, saying the picture wasn’t meant for her. She debates responding with Marnie, finally agrees with her not to write back…but then takes a picture of herself flashing the camera and hits send.

Once again, Hannah has outdone herself with pathetic, degrading behavior. While it is painful to watch, this portion of the series’ plot is important because it is relatable. Everyone has undoubtedly dated someone who didn’t appreciate them, yet they still kept coming back to them. It happens to the best of us. But “Girls” takes this dating ritual a step further, repeatedly dragging Hannah through the mud of emotional abuse and making her seem alarmingly pathetic… she just keeps coming back for more, no matter how horribly Adam treats her.

This part of the plot line seems jarring and unrealistic, because it so pitiful and heartrending. But then you start to think about it. Maybe viewing the situation as an outside observer is what makes Hannah’s decisions seem so sad and ridiculous…and maybe in the past, this is exactly how you appeared to others in a similar dating situation. Maybe you were in denial and were just as pathetic as Hannah, refusing to recognize the low you have sunk to. The thought is chilling, but this is exactly why I love “Girls.” The show raises issues like this, from the possibility of abortion to bad relationships, and makes you retrospectively consider and analyze them in a different light.

Hannah receiving an awkward and inappropriate massage from her new boss.

Things still aren’t finished for poor Hannah. She finally lands a job, but then becomes the target of her boss’ sexual advances. He inappropriately massages her and then cops a feel of her breasts. Hannah asks the other women in the office for advice, and they admit to putting up with his behavior for the consequential bonuses, like free iPods and gifts. It is interesting to see how Hannah is not okay with this type of treatment from her boss and balks at the women allowing it to happen, when all the while she allows essentially the same poor treatment emotionally from her boyfriend.Hannah bonds with the women at her job, telling them about Adam sending her the picture and then admitting it was for another girl. Just like Marnie and her boyfriend, the women react with horror. They cannot believe she would allow such cruel treatment and advise her to dump him immediately. You can see the wheels starting to turn in Hannah’s head, and you silently cheer for her when she is storming towards Adams door in the next scene. She tells him off, and it seems she is finally regaining her self-respect. You are so proud of her; this has been such a long time coming! …but then Adam kisses her and pulls Hannah into his apartment. And once again, Hannah is sucked back into an unhealthy relationship with Adam.

Like I said, this whole episode is such a tease. Hopefully things actually do get better in next week’s installment.